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For those whose roads are marked more by mistakes than selflessness, patience, and sound judgment, take hope in the God who truly and mysteriously blesses your broken road and redeems you from it, and who can begin in you a new, pure, wise, godly pursuit of marriage today.Here are (some) principles for your not-yet marriages.They’re settling for less than God intended and less than he made possible by sending his Son to rescue and repurpose our lives, including our love lives, for something more. And a Christian union can only be found through Christian dating.If Christian dating — the intentional, selfless, and prayerful process of pursuing marriage — sounds like slavery, we don’t get it.Apart from questions of attraction and chemistry, which are not insignificant, the Bible articulates some roles for wives and husbands.A husband ought to protect and provide for his wife (Ephesians –29).Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a lifelong partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and snaps, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. Therefore, only he can prescribe the purpose, parameters, and means of our marriages.
From far too young, I longed for the affection, safety, and intimacy I anticipated with a wife. I experimented too much with our hearts and allowed things to go too far. And now my singleness is a regular reminder that I messed up, missed opportunities, or did it wrong. Maybe all the suggestions and advice you’ve collected has become a confusing mess of good-intentioned contradictions and ambiguity.If low-commitment sexual promiscuity sounds like freedom, we don’t get it.Jesus may ask more of us, but he does so to secure and increase our greatest and longest-lasting (sexual) happiness.Sadly, my immature and unhealthy desires predictably did much more harm than good. Maybe dating has been hard for you too, for these reasons or others. It’s enough to leave you like an eight-year-old, asking, “Mom, where do weddings come from?” The vision of marriage we see in God’s word — the beautiful, radical display of God’s infinite, persevering love for sinners — makes it worth it to date, and date well.